Shah Alam is a sophisticated planned city and Malaysia’s first of its sort. When Kuala Lumpur was separated from Selangor to become a Federal Territory in 1978, Shah Alam became the state capital. Construction began in the 1960s, and many of the city’s significant landmarks originate from that time, although the city has constantly been increasing attractions since then, making it a travel hub for those who visit Malaysia.
In the 1990s, the Selangor Islamic Arts Garden Complex in Shah Alam was established to promote Islamic arts. The complex includes three public museum galleries and the campus of Restu International College, a private institution of higher learning that offers programmes such as a Diploma in Islamic Fine Arts and Calligraphy. Restu Foundation (Yayasan Restu), a non-profit organisation founded in 1988 to enhance the practice of Islam via Islamic arts, manages the complex.
Restu was the first Malaysian foundation to create handwritten and illuminated Quran manuscripts. A valuable genuine Quran text, Islamic calligraphy, sculptures, painting, and architecture are displayed.
This museum was founded in 1989 and served as Selangor’s state museum. It includes background information on Selangor’s geography, history, culture, and natural heritage. The museum has undergone some renovations, but it is still open to the public.
Close to the museum lies the Royal, or Royale, Theatre. This eye-catching structure appears to have devolved into a white elephant. It cost RM 43 million to build and was finished in 2008. However, it seems that it hasn’t been utilised much, if at all since it was completed.
National Day events are sometimes hosted in this open paved area with amphitheatre seating. It has a tourist information bureau planted with fountains, pillars, and a clock tower. It is adjacent to several well-designed state government structures as well.
The 43-hectare Lake Gardens are beautifully planted, with pathways, cycle tracks, boardwalks, and jogging trails winding their way around the lakes. Picnic areas and children’s playgrounds are provided for families, and kayaks can be rented for lake boating. A seafood restaurant with a deck that overlooks the water is also available.
This gallery, located next to the lake, has a small exhibition of paintings and artworks by local and international artists. The gallery is frequently chosen as a wedding location. Next door is the Shah Alam Cultural Park, which regularly hosts traditional and modern dance and music events and handicraft stalls.
This water theme park is also located in the Lake Gardens. A few years ago, it was a relatively modest and inexpensive park best suited to small children, but they have since built additional slides and attractions such as the Super Hurricane and Monsoon Buster Adventure, touted as Southeast Asia’s longest water coaster.
Of course, the costs have risen: RM 24 for adults and RM 19 for children (myKad). Foreigners pay RM 34 and RM 29 respectively. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, and on Wednesdays, they are closed.
If you are looking to get a taste of the jungle without travelling too far from the city, this is one of the best spots in Malaysia. The Shah Alam National Botanical Garden, known as the Malaysian Agricultural Park, spans 817 acres and is home to over 400 plant and tree species. It also has Skytrex Adventure Park, paintball, animal park, four seasons temperature house, spice garden, greenhouse, fishing, hiking, and cycling are just a few of the activities available.
On the outskirts of Shah Alam is a technological park that comes alive at night with an incredible forest of artificial trees vividly illuminated by millions of colourful LED lights. Also known as the City of Digital Lights, it’s a magical world for kids, yet it’s awe-inspiring for middle-aged guys like myself.
Snowalk, which is located next to the forest of lights, is an indoor snow park where tourists may escape the tropical heat for a time and enjoy temperatures of 5 degrees. It is a fascinating experience for some Malaysians who have never seen snow. Other i-City attractions can be found outside, like the reptile house, amusement arcade/indoor funfair games and even a full-screen cinema.
This outdoor street art exhibition, located near i-City, has transformed the walls of a couple of drab back alleyways into a gallery for skilled artists to display their stylish 3D art installations and designer graffiti. It brightens up the space.
With a capacity of 80,000 spectators, this is one of Southeast Asia’s largest stadiums. It is Selangor Football Club’s home ground. A kart track with rental equipment is located outside the stadium in the parking lot.
The Perbadanan Perpustakaan Awam Selangor (PPAS) operates this lovely public library on a hilltop near the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Golf & Country Club. The library is spread out over six levels, each with a different city view. Every level contains multiple state-of-the-art Mac workstations, lots of desk space, and comfortable chairs for scholars and casual readers alike, in addition to an extensive collection of physical books.
The beautiful Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque, Selangor’s state mosque, overlooks the Garden of Islamic Arts. It is Southeast Asia’s second-largest mosque and most prominent in Malaysia which can hold up to 24,000 devotees at any given moment. The mosque is also known as the ‘Blue Mosque,’ after Selangor’s late Sultan commissioned it in 1982.
The name, ‘Blue Mosque’, came from the mosque’s blue stained glass, which bathes the majestic structure in glistening blue light during the day. It is also the world’s tallest collection of minarets, comprises four 142-metre-high minarets that stand tall at each of its four corners. Apart from that, there are also nine galleries here that showcase a diverse range of Islamic arts, including excellent decorative calligraphy, painting, and sculptures.
Shah Alam has grown immensely popular among locals and visitors from all over the world due to its beautiful green landscapes and unique architecture. If you happen to be spending your vacation in Shah Alam, these are some of the entertaining and must-do things.